Reflections on the PebblePad Demo

Thanks to Ranvir Bahl for setting up a demo of the PebblePad Personal Learning System on Thursday, July 12th. The webinar was hosted by Shane Sutherland (one of the founders andĀ Development Director of Pebble Pad).

Shane provided an overview of the PebblePad system and we discussed how it might support goals and instructional needs for select professional programs at UBC. Overall PebblePad is a robust Personal Learning System that has four main functions in relation to teaching and learning.

1. Assets
A system where students can store artifacts (assets) and repurpose them to present in different blogs, webfolios and portfolio pages. These assets can be drawn from learning management systems, social media and cloud storage applications (Google Drive). Templates allow the learners to create guided reflections and link each assett to particular competencies and/or skills levels.

2. Webfolios, Blogs
Learners can share these assetts in different ways by linking them to blogs, webfolios and other PebblePad tools.

3. Atlas
PebblePad includes an assessment/sharing management tool, Atlas. This allows faculty, staff and students to access portfolios, blogs, that have been shared with them. Atlas provides robust assessment functionality such as the ability to lock files while assessing and provide anonymous assessment.

Opportunities

  • Robust system that meets many of the e-Portfolio instructional needs required by some professional programs
  • Provides a way to link learning across courses and personal learning networks
  • Assessment tool (Atlas) provides a means of making the assessment process valid and efficient
  • The asset repository allows learners to link and share artifacts in multiple places
  • Mobile integration allows for assets to be created from a mobile device

Challenges

  • PebblePad is only beginning to access the North America market
  • This robust system is expensive and complex compared with Portfolio tools and implementation would be an intensive process
  • Currently, there is a limited functionality to establish learning communities in PebblePad

Link to PebblePad resources

1 thought on “Reflections on the PebblePad Demo

  1. Nice summary Lucas! Pebble Pad certainly seems promising application and here is my reflection –
    Pros:
    1. It is feature rich and addresses not only typical reflections, data storage and feedback requirements but also the competency based assessments which I believe will be core for many medical schools.
    2. It complies with interoperability specs and learner data will be able to export their portfolio for future use
    3. Ready integration with Blackboard and other LMS is a definite plus
    4. Mobile application, although limited is good for taking field notes and submitting reflections
    Cons:
    1. Flash based application could lead to challenges in accessing info on devices that do not support flash properly
    2. UX design needs improvement as user needs to learn the process to build the portfolio properly and navigate their way within the application
    3. Application is comprehensive and could be seen as a “sledge hammer to strike a nail” by some health professions
    4. Cost/ licencing implications may be challenging for small schools

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